Your animals also feel the heat!

The Verde Valley Humane Society "Pet of the Week" is "Hilda" a petite, young border collie mix. She is very friendly and waiting patiently for her new home. Her heart is as big as the yard she would love to run and play in. Hilda's spay portion of the adoption fee has been discounted by $65 thanks to a grant from the Arizona Companion Committee which is a result of you purchasing pet friendly license plates. All of the animals have discounted fees thanks to this grant. Stop by the shelter at 1502 W. Mingus and meet Hilda and all of the other wonderful animals waiting for homes.

The Verde Valley Humane Society "Pet of the Week" is "Hilda" a petite, young border collie mix. She is very friendly and waiting patiently for her new home. Her heart is as big as the yard she would love to run and play in. Hilda's spay portion of the adoption fee has been discounted by $65 thanks to a grant from the Arizona Companion Committee which is a result of you purchasing pet friendly license plates. All of the animals have discounted fees thanks to this grant. Stop by the shelter at 1502 W. Mingus and meet Hilda and all of the other wonderful animals waiting for homes.

Before I begin today I have a huge thank you for the citizens of the Verde Valley. The Flea Market hosted by the Verde Valley Dog Agility Club was a huge success. Thanks to your donations and shopping, over $1,500 was raised for the VVHS Building Fund.

A huge thank you is due to Carol and Jack for opening their beautiful home, yard and hearts to all of us at VVHS.

We couldn't have done it without them. They worked feverishly making things look so easy. There is no way to repay them for all they have done.

VVHS also needs to thank all of the volunteers that contributed their time to the sale. We had excellent coverage both days.

Everything left over was donated to our thrift store, the Good Buy Shoppe. Your donated items will continue to help the animals of the Verde Valley.

Now let's talk about the weather in our part of the world and how it can harm our animals if we aren't always thinking ahead.

Dry heat, wet heat or just plain heat it's all hot. Not only do we have the heat, but once the monsoon begins it seems the world around us has turned into an outdoor sauna.

Since we have the pleasure of seeing the sun almost every day of the year, do you ever wonder if your pet could get sunburn?

Too much exposure to the sun can burn our animals in the same way it burns a human.

My Great White Pyrenees, Zoe decided to rest in the sun about a week ago. The yard is full of large pine trees and other bushes, even a dog house but she decided to sunbathe.

She paid the price. Just as a fair skinned human, she received a nice pink sunburn on her nose. Who would have ever thought she'd sleep in the sun?

Use sunscreen on yourself and your pets if you are going to be outside for prolonged periods of time. They actually make sunscreen safe for our animals.

If you notice any type of discoloration or sores on your pet's skin you will want to schedule a vet appointment for your pet. Just like in humans, be safe, not sorry.

Sunburn is not the only thing we have to worry about during the relentless summer weather.

Cats and dogs are also prone to heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Heatstroke is more common in dogs due to the fact that they are outside more and often left in hot, parked cars.

Are you still taking your family pets when you do errands? If so you need to be aware of the weather outside.

The temperature has kicked up again and this is no time to be leaving your pet in the car for any amount of time.

When I was doing errands this past weekend there were dogs in a car with the window rolled down about two inches.

Does anyone really believe that two inches of ventilation is going to protect their animal in the heat?

Come on folks. You sit in there for about 20 minutes with the window rolled down a couple of inches and see how you feel. I bet you will quickly revisit the situation.

A dog's normal body temperature ranges from 101-102.5 degrees. Dogs can withstand a body temperature of 107-108 for a very short period of time before suffering brain damage or even death.

When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car, even with the windows left slightly open can soar to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and reach 120 degrees in just half an hour.

Outside temperatures even in the 70's can be dangerous, especially if the sun is shining directly on the vehicle.

Case after case has been documented about owners being cited for animal cruelty and abuse for leaving their dog or cat in the car.

If you see an animal left in a car you have every right to call your local Law Enforcement Agency and make a report.

Heat stroke occurs when a pet's internal body temperature rises to levels high enough to lead to death. In dogs, heat is released through panting.

You may note that a hot dog will have an enlarged tongue while panting. This helps to increase the surface area through which heat can be dissipated.

Lack of ventilation increases the temperature without allowing the body to effectively remove the excess heat.

Other variables that can factor into the pet's chances of getting a heat stroke is the amount of sunshine, humidity, color of car, type of seat covers, and wind factors.

Health and weight of the pet, the thickness of the hair coat, availability of fresh water, recent feeding, and even a pet's own temperament can elevate body temperature. For example, a pet that is anxious, excited or frightened, or one that barks excessively is more likely to get heatstroke that one that is calm or quiet.

Prevention is the key word here. Don't take your pets in the car with you during warm weather. Equally, don't leave your pet in a yard without shade and water.

If you think that your pet is suffering with any of these symptoms, it is important to call your vet immediately. Time is crucial when dealing with heat stroke.

An animal with heat stroke must have its body temperature reduced quickly. Most effective is immediate immersion in cold water.

Some animals are more prone to heat issues than others. Double coats and animals with pushed back faces have the most trouble in hot weather.

Heat conditions in dogs occur when the animal's body temperature exceeds the ability to cool his body down.

At this point serious conditions can happen and medical help for your pet will be required.

This elevated temperature is different from a fever. Fevers are normal responses to infections or inflammations.

Cats don't sweat by panting like our dogs do. They sweat through their paws. They lick themselves more when it's hot, which puts saliva on their fur.

The saliva evaporates off the fur the body temp goes down. That's why you will see your feline friend grooming more on a hot day.

A cat's temperature should normally be 100.5-102.5 F. When it rises your cat is also in danger of heat issues.

It's hard to realize but heat stress can happen very rapidly. Often animals show signs in just minutes. This is especially true of animals that primarily stay outside.

There are ways to help your animals beat the heat. If you use the following suggestions heat related conditions may not occur.

Groom your pet on a regular basis.

Provide fresh water constantly for animals inside and out.

Get haircuts for breeds with large amounts of fur or undercoats.

Avoid activity during the hot parts of the day.

Take plenty of water whenever you take your pets out.

Provide plenty of shade for your pets.

Large industrial or porch ceiling fans outside for pets staying outside.

Place a kiddie splash pool in the shade with a couple of inches of water in it for your dog.

Don't leave your pets in the car during this time of year.

If you suspect heatstroke in your pet, cool him down promptly and call your vet immediately. Your rapid thinking can save your pet's life.

Don't use ice water to cool down your pet. Ice water may cause a dramatic change in body temperature. That's not what you want to achieve.

Put your pet in the bathtub, kiddie splash pool or sink and fill it with cool water, not cold. You could also put cool wet towels to his body.

Refresh the towels in cool water since the towels will quickly reach the temperature of your pet's body.

Some of the symptoms of heatstroke in your pet are:

• Gasping for air

• Weakness

• Heavy rapid panting

• Glassy eyes

• Excessive drooling

• Deep red colored gums

• Inability to stand

In severe cases of heatstroke your animal may have seizures, diarrhea, vomit and even death. It's important that you watch your pets closely so things never get to this degree.

This Arizona dry heat can be brutal and relentless. Don't let it claim the life of anyone you love.

Remember, lots of fresh cold water at all times. Ice cubes in the water help keep the water cool longer. They often provide entertainment for you and your furry friends.

Letting your pets stay in the house along with fresh water is the best thing you can do for them.

Being in air conditioning or even a swamp cooler is much better than being left outside to rest in shade.

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